So just how much water should your dog drink? Are they drinking enough or too much? This blog post will explain how much water they should be drinking. It also explains the difference between drinking water and hydrating.
How much water should your dog drink daily?
The amount of water dogs should drink depends on a lot of different factors. How much does your dog weigh? How active are they? What kind of food do they eat? Are they overweight or underweight? Do they have any health issues? Is it or how hot is it outside? And on it goes. There are no hard or fast rules on how much water dogs should drink since every dog is so different.
What’s the difference between drinking water and hydrating?
I think we can all agree that there’s moisture in meat. We can also agree that dogs are carnivore’s. When dogs eat meat they’re also ingesting the moisture in the meat. That moisture contains the vitamins, minerals and nutrients dogs need. So as they ingest meat, the moisture containing the nutrients they need hydrates and nourishes them. Sadly, that is gone when food is processed and preserved for a shelf life.
Therefor dogs that are never fed raw, tripe or canned meat tend to drink too much water. They are subtly dehydrated daily so they drink water to hydrate. But dogs bodies aren’t designed to hydrate with water alone. This starts to take a toll on their organs. When their organs aren’t hydrated properly they can start to shut down or become weak, leaving them vulnerable to organ related health problems. As you can imagine, the ramifications can vary from minor to extreme.
How can I tell if my dog is dehydrated?
There are two quick ways to see if your dog is dehydrated.
- Take their collar off. Grab the skin on the back of their neck. Gently pull and twist. If their skin bounces back quickly you know they’re hydrated. If, however, their skin is slow to bounce back, or doesn’t bounce back at all, they’re dehydrated.
- Lift their lip. Use your finger to push hard on their gums above their canines. Quickly pull your finger away. This is called ‘checking their capillary refill‘. Where your finger was pushing against their gum you should see a white circle.
If they’re hydrated, that white circle should go away quickly. If the white circle is slow to go away or their gum takes any length of time to resume it’s normal color, they’re dehydrated.
I recommend getting into the routine of checking your dog for proper hydration weekly. Also, you should know the normal color of your dogs gums and check them weekly as well.
What does it mean if my dog’s drinking too much water?
Some dogs are slightly dehydrated all the time. And a lifetime of this can cause organ failures, since the organs need proper hydration to function properly. Sudden excessive water drinking can be a sign of canine diabetes, for instance. But constant excessive water drinking is hard on the kidneys. Majority of kibble fed dogs drink too much water since they can’t hydrate properly from their food source. So if your dog is a huge water drinker you might want to consider changing their dry food to a quality wet or raw food and adding raw meaty bones to their diet. You could even consider adding leftovers to their diet.
Interesting video of a dog drinking water
Fun video: Here’s a slow motion video of a dog drinking water. It’s kinda cool seeing how they fold their tongue backward, acting like a little cup, to scoop up and drink water:
Written by Brenda McBurnie, Certified Dog Trainer and Natural Nutrition
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